There’s a pack of dogs ahead. Five, six, seven... ten? And they’re charging down the muddy runway, stampeding straight for my friends and I. Well except for the pug. He’s more sauntering along. But that still leaves at least nine dogs moving quickly. To the left, muddy, muddy grass. To the right, foliage. Retreat only leads to more muddy, muddy grass (I’m not wearing the right shoes) and in front are the dogs. There is nowhere to turn. Nowhere to hide.
And I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Very friendly dogs coming to say hello at Hampstead Heath, enjoying a late morning run.
Visiting Hampstead Heath, even on a cold overcast Saturday, was a breath of fresh air from London’s quick-city pace. At the edge of zone 2, on the Northern Line, you embark from the Hampstead tube and stroll along the sidewalk admiring the borough. A borough that boasts some of the most expensive houses in London, so it’s not so hard on the eyes.
Rose garden on our way walk to the park
Houses across from a pond in Hampstead Heath.
Is that a house or a historical building and how can I live there?
As we were walking to enter HH, our destination for picnic fun, the most delightful thing happened, and I will blame my unbridled glee on my North American city upbringing. A milk man was delivering milk! With his cartons! A real live milk man and he had a milk truck, and there were glass bottles, and he was going from house to house. Oh, this was going to be a good day.
He really does exist!!
The purpose of the day was to visit the green open spaces of Hampstead Heath, potentially kick around a football, take in the view of London proper, and picnic, thus fulfilling #15 of my the top 25 things to do in London that is my New Year’s Resolution.
We walked, we saw, we picniced.
Visiting the ponds, saying hello to all the dogs on their walks, strolling, and eating a picnic lunch of baguette, cheese, apples, and draught, made this a most lovely of outings. And even though the sky was forecast, you could still point out the Eye and the Gherkin, and enjoy the view.
Can you spot the Eye?
We even fostered a lost dog while we were having our picnic. We named him Petrie, and he really enjoyed our company for about an hour, until a guard came and asked if we had seen a similar dog by himself. When we told the gaurd we actually didn't know this dog and were wondering where his owners were, the guard thanked us and picked up our little Petrie who went with the constable. We always knew he was a mischievous one, you should have seen him trying to get into the beer!
Petrie, that's not your lunch!
Petrie's ride home.
The next time I need some greenery in my life, I know where I'll head back to. But in the future, I’ll just be sure to wear my rain boots.
By LSESU Digital Comms Intern Wanda O'Brien